Government is proposing changes to the Assessment Act that will help protect community-sustaining jobs and support local economies.
Under the current assessment system, when a property classified as major industry, or Class 4, is identified for future redevelopment in an official community plan, BC Assessment is required to value the property based on the highest and best use of that property, such as a future residential or commercial use. As the tax rate for such properties remains based on their current use, this can result in a significant increase in property taxes, even though the property may not be redeveloped for many years. Changes to the highest and best use for Class 4 properties from industrial to residential could negatively affect ongoing industry operations, leading to the loss of jobs and damage to local economies.
The proposed changes will require BC Assessment to keep valuing major industry properties that continue to operate, based on their current industrial use rather than on the potential future highest and best use envisioned in an official community plan.
The changes would allow industry to continue its operations during the redevelopment process. The valuation would revert to the highest and best use when industrial operations cease on the property.
Class 4 (major industry) properties include lumber and pulp mills, mines and smelters, large product manufacturers and other similar operations.
The changes would apply to the 2019 taxation year.
For an overview of BC Assessment's work, services and more, visit: https://www.bcassessment.ca/